buitink technology is a dutch company focused on developing, manufacturing and installing products where technical textiles are involved. together with its french partner, highpoint structures, the firm recently completed the second-skin ETFE membrane for a water reservoir in southern france.

interior view showing the rain drop prints of the second-skin ETFE membrane




ETFE (also known as Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) is a highly resistant and transparent fluorine-based plastic. compared to glass, the material is very light and can withstand corrosion and elevated temperatures over longer periods of time. therefore buitink technology, alongside highpoint structures, chose this particular textile as an alternative to typical ‘skylight’ materials.

close up on the membrane, with an extended view of the southern-french landscape




the exterior façade of the reservoir is composed of ten ETFE membranes, with rain-drop patterns printed on all of them. as a result, a person walking along the transparent facade can experience a panoramic view of the landscape -creating a sense of openness and serenity. the motif designed unto the ETFE is highlighted by the natural lighting effect (especially during afternoon and early evening timing).

exterior view of the reservoir membrane, with a sense of scale provided by the man

second-skin ETFE membrane reservoir france designboom
sitting at the top of a hill, the facade opens up to a panoramic view of the outdoors

afternoons: natural lighting discretely filters through the ETFE membrane, highlighting the rain-drop pattern



project info:


designer/ architect: valérie despagnet

developer of ETFE membranes: buitink technology/ highpoint structures

total surface of the façade: 350 sqm



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edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom